UP Yoddha were coming into the 61st match of the seventh installment of the Pro Kabaddi League after enduring a painful defeat to the home team, Dabang Delhi. The backbone of UP, Rishank Devadiga, unfortunately, suffered an eye injury against the Dabangs and was ruled out of the battle against Pune.
Anup Kumar's Puneri Paltan were successful in defeating the defending champions, Bengaluru Bulls, in their previous encounter. With a chance to improve their ranking on the scoreboard, they were all set to clinch the victory.
Read more to find out how the anticipated battle between the UP Yoddha and Puneri Paltan unfolded itself at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi:
Shrikant Jadhav from the Yoddha army went out for the first raid and returned without any point. Surender Gill stole the first point for the UP-based franchise. Opening the account for his squad, the former Pirate, Manjeet brought in a quick point for Pune.
In yet another raid-dominated battle, both teams proceeded with extreme care. A beautiful two-pointer by Shrikant reduced the strength of Pune to just two men on the mat. The Paltan suffered their first all-out of the night in the 13th minute of the intense battle.
Surprisingly, UP became the first team to score their first tackle point after 16 minutes. Until then, Pankaj Mohite and Manjeet were the only Pune players who pitched in points for their squad.
At half-time, the score 16-9 was tilted in UP's direction. Shrikant Jadhav, with eight raid points in the first twenty minutes itself, was on fire. Manjeet opened the second half in a grand manner, bringing in a superb two-pointer.
A power-packed super-tackle by Pune reduced the score difference to just five points. Shrikant inflicted an all-out on the Paltan, also completing his first Super 10 of the season. However, Pune took a review, challenging the referee's decision, which was then deemed unsuccessful upon inspection.
With an 11-point lead, the Yoddhas were thriving. Sumit had his killer mode on, as he successfully kept the raiders of the rival team at bay. On a night of firsts, Manjeet also completed his first Super 10 of PKL 2019.
With just two minutes left on the clock, the Yoddhas inched ahead on the scoreboard. In the 38th minute of the battle, Manjeet inflicted an out-of-the-world all-out on their nemesis, reducing the massive 10-point score difference to just two.
Sumit also completed the third High 5 of his career. Despite some deadly efforts, Pune faced a harsh loss as the Yoddhas won the close-called battle with the score 35-30.